A toddler accidentally shot in the head with an air rifle by his father is improving, Temuka police say.
The boy is recovering in the Starship hospital in Auckland and police in Timaru are investigating how the 17-month-old came to be injured in Temuka, South Canterbury on 3 October.
Canterbury Rural Area Commander Inspector Dave Gaskin told Checkpoint the boy's father was getting the rifle out of a cupboard when it somehow discharged, hitting the 17-month-old boy in the head.
"From what I understand, he's improving. He seems reasonably stable and getting better," Mr Gaskin said.
Air rifles should not be stored loaded, and should always be pointed in a safe direction, he said.
"Inquiries into what happened and how it happened are still continuing but I think it's important that we should urge people that air rifles are available for purchase without a firearms licence over the age of 18, but they are serious weapons, and they're not toys."